Thomas Gregory Roberts Jr “Tom”, 59, passed away peacefully Thursday 08 October 2020 just after 1:30 AM at Hospice of the Valley – Eckstein Center with his sister by his side. Beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend, his loss is deeply felt. Many thanks to those of you who kept him in your thoughts and prayers.
Tom was born 20 December 1960 in Danville, Virginia. He was an excellent athlete and member of American Mensa. Tom graduated from KOFA High School where he was involved in football and basketball. After high school, he earned a BSBA in Business Management (Finance) from the University of Arizona. He continued his education with an AS in Marine Technology from College of Oceaneering (Med Tech and Weld Tech – first in his class). After that, he earned an AS in Nursing from Mesa Community College. And, sometime in the middle of all that, earned his real estate license through the Arizona School of Real Estate.
Tom worked in a variety of fields which funded his love of travel, enjoyment of the outdoors (SCUBA!), and Jeeps (Willys! driving and repairing). He was a bartender and restaurant manager (14 years all over Arizona and California); taxi driver; salesman for Schwan’s (truck driving!) and Thorobred Chevrolet; paramedic in some very dangerous parts of California; offshore medic, saturation tech, hyperbaric tech, deep sea underwater welder (metal dive helmet!) “fix any broken thing on the boat including the people”; air ambulance dispatcher; ICU ER and burn nurse; and Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse (CHRN) (18 years in the medical field).
When at last he put all of his many skills together, he entered his beloved profession Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse (CHRN). “I love my job. My patients get better.” Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse at Mountain Vista Medical Center Wound Center 2007-2014 where he treated wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, bone infections, late effects of radiation treatments, flesh eating bacteria, brown recluse spider bite, and helped salvage limbs as well as educated his patients on how to continue to improve.
He continued to avidly SCUBA, drive Jeeps, golf, water-ski, and play softball (with an occasional stint as an umpire) throughout his adult life. He was a caring, patient, and encouraging man.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Gregory Roberts and Elizabeth Gregory Barnes Roberts. He is survived by his sister Gwendolyn Rose Roberts Shannon (John); nephew Ryan Gregory Shannon (whom he deeply loved); Aunt Charlotte Roberts Wood (Thomas “Woody); Uncle Edgar Eugene Barnes (Veronica “Ron”); Uncle Llewellyn Bland Barnes (Mary “Tinker”); as well as numerous cousins. He was glad he had the opportunity to be a step-father.
Tom never lost his wit or sense of humor during his final years. He knew he was loved and often hugged his sister fiercely. Tom’s life was “Up and down, mostly up story because I refuse to be down.”
One of his favorite quotes he learned from his dad, ‘I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
And, a few personal quotes:
“There is something after death. I have been there a few times.”
“Honesty and Humor and Freedom are the important things in life to me.”
“Find the strawberry every day.” From the story The Tiger and the Strawberry.
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